A multipurpose ornament shaped like a comb, used to fasten one’s hair or as an adornment to the head, the most tapu part of our body. Traditionally made from wood, bone, or teeth intricately bound together, heru were a symbol of status. Heru were often accompanied by feathers from native birds of Aotearoa, or other embellishments, especially when indicating one’s prestige. Pre Pākehā, long hairstyles were common for Māori men. Amidst colonisation, men’s hairstyles transformed and they adopted the shorter hairstyles. With the adoption of these hairstyles, the use of feathers transitioned from native to introduced birds.
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Design Description: Papatūānuku Collection
Whatungarongaro te tangata, toitū te whenua - As man disappears from sight, the land remains.
This collection is about the separation of Ranginui (Sky mother) and Papatūānuku (Earth Mother) by Tāne Mahuta (God of the forests and birds).
Material: Heru body is made from bamboo with black paint. Pattern is engraved into the bamboo. Gold attachments are made from gravograph.
Dimensions: 29cm (length) x 4cm (width)